The president of North Macedonia is working to raise awareness in his country for the need to support children with disabilities and to try and stop bullying.
President Stevo Pendarovski's team posted images of him on Instagram visiting 11-year-old Embla Ademi and her family after she was bullied at school for having Down syndrome. Ademi and her family are from the North Macedonian city of Gostivar.
Pendarovski said under a video posted to social media that Embla and her situation "reminds us of the prejudices we live with and the need for greater protection and care for children with disabilities."
Pendarovski said, "Prejudice must not be stronger than the rights of children. We are all equally responsible for the smile of Embla and all children with atypical development."
Инклузивноста како стремеж не треба да остане само декларативен принцип, туку да се користат потенцијалите на лицата со атипичен развој. Предрасудите да не бидат пречка за изградба на еднакво и праведно општество за сите. Емпатијата е наша морална обврска. #Ембла pic.twitter.com/SJEiMzMykU— Stevo Pendarovski (@SPendarovski) February 7, 2022
"Inclusiveness as an aspiration should not remain just a declarative principle, but to use the potentials of people with atypical development. Prejudice should not be an obstacle to building an equal and just society for all. Empathy is our moral obligation," Pendarovski said in a statement.